Act 2 Othello Quiz

“News, lads! our wars are done. The desperate tempest hath so bang’d the Turks, That their designment halts:” Speaker: Third Gentleman to Montano (in the presence of 2 other gentlemen)Context: While Montano and two other gentlemen discuss the severity of the storm and how they have never witnessed anything like it, a third gentleman enters the frame and informs them of the destruction of the Turkish fleet because of the terrible storm. Translation: I’ve got news, boys, the war’s over! This terrible storm has smashed the Turks so badly that their plans are ruined.Explanation: This quote is significant as it informs the reader of the results of the storm on the Turkish flee (who Othello was sent to stop). It shows that war is no longer necessary as nature has done their bidding. This quote’s main significance was plot development.
“O, behold, The riches of the ship is come on shore! Ye men of Cyprus, let her have your knees.” Speaker: Cassio to Desdemona (in the presence Emilia, Iago, Montano, Roderigo and Attendants)Context: This takes place after Cassio speaks with Montano. The two were discussing the arrival of Othello and Desdemona. When Desdemona steps off the boat, Cassio says this quote. Translation: Look, the precious Desdemona has arrived on shore. We should all kneel before her, men of Cyprus!Explanation: This quote helps develop Cassio’s character as one who respects Desdemona. It continues to show that he only ever shows respect towards Desdemona and of his relationship between the two. This respect will be useful in the future when Cassio will seek Desdemona’s help after he is fired by Othello.
“He takes her by the palm: ay, well said, whisper: with as little a web as this will I ensnare as great a fly as Cassio.” Speaker: Iago in his aside Context: Iago, Cassio, Desdemona and Emilia talk amongst themselves in a friendly manner. Iago jokes about the different kinds of women through short poems. In the midst of this Iago sees Cassio take Desdemona’s hand (out of courtesy rather than affection). Translation: He’s taking her hand. That’s right, go ahead and whisper together. This is all I need to get Cassio.Explanation: This quote continues to fuel Iago’s ambition and adds to his arsenal of facts that will help Iago take Cassio’s position. It contributes to both the plot and Iago’s character. The plot is developed by showing us the evidence that Iago will manipulate to convince Othello and others that Cassio holds affection for Desdemona. It also develops Iago’s character as a man who is quite cunning and will use whatever details he can and manipulate them to achieve his desired goal.
“Very nature will instruct her in it and compel her to some second choice.” Speaker: Iago to RoderigoContext: Iago informs Roderigo that Desdemona is in love with Cassio (even though she isn’t ) and goes on to convince Roderigo why this is true. He tells him that Desdemona will soon become bored with Othello and that Cassio would be the more suitable partner. In the midst of this he says this quote. Translation: Since he doesn’t have these advantages to make him attractive to her, she’ll get sick of him until he makes her want to puke. She’ll start looking around for a second choice.Explanation: This passage is significant to the plot as it is what riles up Roderigo and contributes to him blindly following Iago’s “advice”. Without saying this, Roderigo would not carry out Iago’s bidding, resulting in the failure of Iago’s plan. Furthermore, this passage continues to demonstrate Iago’s deceptive nature and how he is able to manipulate facts and the mental state of others so that they behave according to Iago’s plans.
“Sir, he is rash and very sudden in choler, and haply may strike at you: provoke him, that he may; for even out of that will I cause these of Cyprus to mutiny; whose qualification shall come into no true taste again but by the displanting of Cassio. .” Speaker: Iago to Roderigo Context: Iago continues to persuade Roderigo that Desdemona and Cassio have chemistry together and informs Roderigo that he must make Cassio angry (though nothing more than that). His plan begins to unravel as he tells Roderigo what actions to take.Translation: He’s hot-tempered, and he might try to hit you with his staff. Try to get him to do that. That’ll allow me to stir up public sentiment against him here in Cyprus. I’ll get them so riled up that they’ll only calm down when Cassio’s fired.Explanation: This passage is important in conveying Iago’s plan to the reader. Iago plans on getting Cassio fired by making him angry and gaining public sentiment against Cassio. This passage develops the plot and shows Iago’s cunningness (prominent theme in these quotes)
“For that I do suspect the lusty Moor Hath leap’d into my seat; the thought whereof Doth, like a poisonous mineral, gnaw my inwards; And nothing can or shall content my soul Till I am even’d with him, wife for wife, Or failing so, yet that I put the Moor At least into a jealousy so strong That judgment cannot cure. “ Speaker: Iago to himselfContext: After Iago speaks with Roderigo about the next stage of his plan which involves Roderigo making a drunken Cassio angry, He begins to talk to himself about his personal thoughts on the situation. He gives his personal outlook and even introduces new information about the problem to the reader Translation: I have a feeling the Moor slept with my wife. That thought keeps gnawing at me, eating me up inside. I won’t be satisfied until I get even with him, wife for wife. If I can’t do that, I can at least make the Moor so jealous that he can’t think straight.Explanation: This passage continues to develop the plot as it informs the reader of what Iago’s plan is. He wants to get even with Othello and will do that by getting with his wife or making him so jealous that he won’t be able to think straight. It also develops Iago’s character as a vengeful person who does not forgive easily and will believe rumours and react to them rather than find out the true facts for himself first. Lastly, this passage is an example of Pathos as it helps us develop some sympathy for Iago who is trying to get even with Othello (if indeed he did sleep with Emilia).
“‘Tis evermore the prologue to his sleep: He’ll watch the horologe a double set, If drink rock not his cradle.” Speaker: Iago to Montano Context: Once Cassio exits after drinking with Iago and Montano, Iago speaks about Cassio to Montano and says how he worries about Othello’s choice in Cassio as his lieutenant because he has a serious weakness that will eventually spell doom for Cyprus. This makes Montano worried as Iago carries on about Cassio and his poor drinking habits (which he greatly exaggerates). Translation: He drinks like this every night before he goes to sleep. He’d stay up all night and all day if he didn’t drink himself to sleep.Explanation: This passage places a seed of worry inside Montano and contributes to deteriorating Cassio’s reputation. It is also an important part of Iago’s plan in gaining Cassio’s position. Little by little, Iago is increasing suspicion of Cassio while also taking actions against him. The combination of the two will be instrumental in Iago’s plant to take down Cassio and ruin his image in the eyes of Othello and everyone around him.
“I do love Cassio well; and would do much to cure him of this evil-“ Speaker: Iago to MontanoContext: Once Cassio exits after drinking with Iago and Montano, Iago speaks about Cassio to Montano and says how he worries about Othello’s choice in Cassio as his lieutenant because he has a serious weakness that will eventually spell doom for Cyprus. This makes Montano worried as Iago carries on about Cassio and his poor drinking habits (which he greatly exaggerates). Montano suggest that they should inform Othello of this, however Iago (attempting to seem loyal to Cassio) is against thisTranslation: I respect Cassio and I’d like to help cure his alcoholism—Explanation: Once again, Iago masks his hate towards Cassio and appears to act as his friend, while belittling him at the same time. By doing this, he is able to ruin Cassio’s reputation while at the same time taking away any possibility of people thinking that Iago hates Cassio. This is very clever on Iago’s part and develops the plot forward (revealing his plan and feelings towards the situation) and also demonstrates Iago’s cunning and deceptive nature.
“What’s the matter, That you unlace your reputation thus And spend your rich opinion for the name Of a night-brawler? give me answer to it.” Speaker: Othello to Montano (while Iago and Cassio are in the room)Context: Furious at the events of the fight between Cassio and Montano that just conspired, Othello demands answers. He says this to Montano out of rage. He questions his actions and asks him why he would go against his calm nature and cause this disturbance. Translation: Montano, you’re supposed to be calm and collected. You’re famous for it. Wise people respect you. What in the world made you risk your reputation like this and become a street brawler? Tell me.Explanation: This passage is significant as all has gone according to plan. Cassio has gotten into a fight, Montano has lost faith in Cassio and Othello is furious. This passage also reveals Montano’s nature as one who is calm and collected and respected for it. It shows that reputation is important and that it is not justifiable for him to go against it. It also shows Othello’s anger and how he demands that someone answer what happened. Shows theme of Reputation and how it is something that our actions help shape, but ultimately it is the opinion of others that determines it (Reputation = how others perceive us)
“But men are men; the best sometimes forget: Though Cassio did some little wrong to him, As men in rage strike those that wish them best, Yet surely Cassio, I believe, received From him that fled some strange indignity, Which patience could not pass.” Speaker: Iago to Othello (while Montano and Cassio are in the room) Context: This passage is spoken when Iago explains the reason for the fight between Montano and Cassio. He says this passage in his explanation where he talks about the fight and carefully masks his opinion of Cassio and his own involvement in the matter.Translation: But nobody’s perfect, and even the best man sometimes loses control and strikes out in rage. Cassio was wrong to hurt Montano, who was only trying to help him, but I’m sure the guy who ran away must have offended Cassio in some terrible way, and Cassio couldn’t let it pass.Explanation: This passage is important to the plot as it reveals what the fight was about. Also it is important to the image that others have of Iago. The characters around him all believe that Iago likes Cassio and so would never suspect that he had anything to do with Cassio’s actions. However the reader knows that his feelings are false and that he hates Cassio, but is masking his opinion. Theme of deception and how Iago is not what he appears to be
“Cassio, I love thee But never more be officer of mine.” Speaker: Othello to Cassio (while Montano and Iago are in the room) Context: After hearing the accounts of the fight, Othello decides that the only rightful action left to take is to fire CassioTranslation: Cassio, I love you, but you’re never again going to be one of my officers.—Explanation: This passage reveals that part of Iago’s plan has worked and that he has gotten Cassio fired. Also, part of Othello’s character can also be seen as he will take the necessary actions needed regardless of personal feeling. Cassio was at fault and even though Othello respects him, he cannot let his actions go unpunished and will do what protocol dictates, rather than follow the will of his own heart.
“I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial. My reputation, Iago, my reputation!” Speaker: Cassio to Iago Context: After he has been fired by Othello, Cassio grieves at the fact that he is ruined. He is upset about his ruined reputation to Iago. Iago in response to this tries to console Cassio by saying that reputations are not important and cannot be lost unless we ourselves believe it is. He also tries to help Cassio be cheerful again. Translation: My reputation, my reputation! I’ve lost my reputation, the longest-living and truest part of myself! Everything else in me is just animal-like. Oh, my reputation, Iago, my reputation!Explanation: Cassio is deeply distraught by the events that have just taken place and feels as though there is no hope left. Iago uses his unstable mental state to persuade Cassio’s actions. We know that everything is going according to plan and that Iago will now use Cassio in his plan to become lieutenant and get revenge at Othello. Also it reveals Cassio’s character as one who is deeply concerned with his reputation and upset at his stupid actions. He wishes to mend his actions and get his position back.
“This broken joint between you and her husband entreat her to splinter;” Speaker: Iago to Cassio Context: Iago continues to try and help Cassio by making him cheerful and giving him a sense of hope that the problems he is encounter are mendable. He tells Cassio that all will be well and that he can still fix his situation if he seeks help from Desdamona. Translation: Ask [Desdamona] to help you heal the rift between her husband and you.Explanation: Iago continues to manipulate others as part of his plan. In this passage he is trying to get Cassio to go and seek help from Desdemona. If this is done then he will be able to use their bond as proof that there is chemistry between him and Desdemona. This is sure to fuel Othello’s rage and will help Iago not only gain Cassio’s position, but also get even with Othello. It also reveals Desdemona as someone who is kind-hearted and would help someone thoroughly with their problems.
“So will I turn her virtue into pitch, And out of her own goodness make the net That shall enmesh them all.” Speaker: Iago to himselfContext: After Cassio has left, hopeful that Desdemona will help him get his position back, Iago speaks to himself, trying to defend his own actions and morality. Translation: And that’s how I’ll turn her good intentions into a big trap to snag them all.Explanation: This passage reveals more of Iago’s plan to take down Cassio and Othello. The reader is told that the more Desdemona helps Cassio, the better for his plan as he will be deceiving Othello and making sure that he ends up hating the other two. It shows again that Iago is deceptive and truly a master of treachery. Also it is interesting how Iago justifies his actions and that the fact he is giving Cassio the correct advice is in fact true.
“How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees?”* Speaker: Iago to Roderigo Context: Roderigo enters and tells Iago that he is tired from all that has happened. However he is happy that he has become a little wiser and that he will go back to Venice. Iago tells him that he is foolish for being this impatient nad that the two will soon reap the benefits of their actions. Translation: You’re a poor man if you’re this impatient! If you get hurt, does your wound heal immediately? No, it heals gradually.Explanation: This passage shows that Iago still has influence over Roderigo and is able to continue to persuade him, even though Roderigo has had enough. Furthermore this passage adds to Iago’s deceptive image and makes us understand that he is truly evil. Also we can see from this quote that Iago is also a very patient man who doesn’t mind waiting for the end results (unlike Roderigo who would rather see the benefits now). Iago is truly an evil mastermind.